Hello there, I am currently drowning in a sea of what-ifs, and I just really need some perspective from the professionals out there.
*We are using Solidworks Professional 2019, and PDM Standard
Back Story: I work for an architectural/mechanical hybrid design company. We use Solidworks for all of our design, and have recently implemented PDM (about a month and a half in). Currently, we have an excel spreadsheet that keeps track of part #'s. The part numbers are 6-digit, numeric, not smart. You pop in, grab the next available to name your part/assembly, give it a little description, and pop out. A lot of our work is custom, but there are standard parts & assemblies that are often used. For example, drop rods, specific bracket assemblies, top & base plates, panels, mounting brackets, etc. Those are easy. So, here's a summary of the problems we are currently having:
- People are labeling objects differently, so there is still duplication occurring with parts, or attempting to search for their specific criteria. (example: I'm looking for a "latch", but somebody named it "handle", so I unknowingly make the exact same part with a different name)
- There is no description standard in the serial # spreadsheet, so it ranges from generic to extremely specific.
- When I attempt to come up with a description standard, "Plate_Dimensions_Thickness_Material" is what comes to mind
- I have never used PDM, so I don't know how people generally organize their libraries.. what the search criteria should be, and how you all find the parts and assemblies you need without duplicating that information. Did you have to bank a library of standard company parts first? Is there a manager that checks every night to make sure everything is still unique? What do you do!?!?!
- We have attempted to make folders for Top Plates, Base Plates, Panels, etc. But this quickly became overwhelming, so we are saving EVERYTHING except for Project Assembly & Drawing into a "Library" folder.
I've been working with my design manager to come up with some kind of solution for this. But I keep overthinking everything and worrying that if there isn't enough information, it will be too easy to duplicate - or if I provide too little, it will fall apart quickly. He has very little experience with Solidworks, and we currently have a design team of three people. THIS is the time to get this nailed down. I'm just totally overwhelmed and don't know what's going to work. I'm coming to realize that there should be a standard for what EVERYTHING should be named, so that when we all refer to a "bracket", everyone has an idea in their mind of what that is.
I've been looking through different resources, but I'm having trouble finding anything that touches on everything that I'm struggling with.
The only thing that's really working is Mc-Master Carr fasteners/hardware - as they already have designated part numbers and descriptions
Any help, resources, or chocolate that can be provided would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.